At the world’s centre
between earth and sky and sea
is a place where every sound can be heard,
where everything is seen.
Here Rumour lives,
making her home on a mountain top.
This house stands open
night and day: a dome
of apertures and windows set
like a million eyes at gaze,
no doors or shutters anywhere.
Here walls have ears.
The are ears. The whole house
made from thinly-beaten
resonating bronze, hums
with words repeating back to themselves
round and round, again
and again: the low susurration
of echoing sound.
No silence anywhere,
just the murmur of voices
like whispering waves
or the last low rolling crush of thunder.
The house is haunted by shadows,
ghosts that come and go, a host of rumours,
the false mixed with the true,
words and phrases, fact, fictions,
fabrications, all confused.
At every turn, a story spreads
and grows and changes, each new teller
adding on to what they’ve heard.
Here is surveillance, interception;
a multitude of recording angels.
Here live rash Credulity, reckless Error,
groundless Joy. Whispers
make their home here, alongside
sudden Sedition, tremulous Fear.
hears everything, sees
everything that happens in the heavens,
in the sea or on earth;
invigilator, sentinel, echo-chamber,
she misses nothing
misses no one as she sweeps the world.